Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Coporate Gifts

Making Business Relationships last:

There are many times when you’ll find it suitable, even a necessity to offer corporate gifts. However, remember that these gifts are meant to establish and strengthen your business relationships while also promoting your company. You shouldn’t be handing out gifts all the time, but there are occasions in which you may be helping a fellow business celebrate a success or milestone, or recognizing a holiday or event.

Corporate Gift Giving

Giving gifts in the business atmosphere is much different than giving them to your family or friends. Make sure to give your gift in person whenever possible, this makes your gift appear more genuine, and shows effort and consideration.
If you can’t deliver the gift in person, at least make sure you’re giving the gift to the right person or group. If your contact is a manager, yet most of your business is done with the administrative assistant, get a gift for both. You should always show appreciation to those whom are worthy of it!

Make sure you offer the gift at the apt time. When celebrating a company achievement or milestone, be sure not to let too much time pass between the event and the delivery of the gift. This would only make you appear lazy and display a lack of value for the people you’re trying to recognize. If you’re giving a gift for a holiday or a special event, try to give it early. You don’t want your gift lost in a crowd; always make sure your gift will stand out and be well received.

Don’t forget to personalize the gift. Include a card, and if there are multiple recipients, note each person on that card so all recipients feel recognized. If the gift is from a group, make sure that each giver signs the card. Make sure to use this gift-giving opportunity to establish personal relationships with other professionals.

What to give:

Whatever you do, when you’re giving corporate gifts, never be cheap! You don’t want to come across as penny-pinching or appear to resent the recipient of the gift. Gift giving is never to be viewed as a chore, no matter who the recipient.

You also want to give a gift that lasts and shares a message. Products that display your logo are always great.

Just remember that you’re trying to develop a relationship with the recipient of your gift, while sharing a corporate message at the same time. Pick a gift that you would appreciate receiving and which speaks positively for you and your business.

Note: These logos shown here are all property of their original owner corporations, we were asked to create brands of these logos either by employees of that company or by brokers doing work for those companies. All logos were approved before a brand was created.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Secrets of a Barbecue Grill

by Scott Fromherz Reprinted from ArticleIsland.com

Everyone who has a backyard or even an outside patio probably owns a barbecue grill. The grill is as important as anything else lying around the house. Most men consider the grill and the area surrounding it "man land." Cooking meat on an open flame satisfies the caveman part of the brain.

The smell of the meat on hot coals will make anyone hungry. A barbecue grill comes in many shapes and sizes. Small grills that can be placed on a table can cost very little and they work just the same as the big ones.

On the other end of the spectrum, one can find large stainless steel models that cost, in some cases, over two thousand dollars. When it comes down to the basics, a barbecue grill cooks meat. Everything else that is built into one is either a cooking aid or nice to have accessories. Some grills also come attached with smoker accessories so the unit can accomplish more than just grilling.

Whatever the customer wants, there is probably a grill that suits his or her taste. Something to consider when shopping for a grill is: What size does one want or need? Meat racks can be small, maybe enough to cook two steaks, or large enough to cook for a large party.

Tips To Aid The Cooking Of Meat

It doesn't matter what kind of meat one is cooking. Whether its beef, pork, fish, or chicken, there are some things that can enhance the flavors. One way is to marinate the meat overnight in whatever one chooses. When it is taken out to the barbecue grill, the aroma is mouth watering.

Also, one can use spices while the meat is cooking. There are many spices available to the customer. Some even mix spices together designed for each type of meat.

Something else that will aid the cooking is to watch out for flare ups. They can very quickly ruin a nice cut of meat. Every barbecue grill has a lid. When cooking meat that drips often, keeping the lid closed while cooking will stop the flare up. One still has to keep an eye out for trouble, but with the barbecue grill lid down, flare ups are minimized. Finally, knowing the amount of time it takes to cook a specific type and size of meat, the individual can then cook the meat to whatever one likes.

All meat will taste bad if overcooked so have a rough idea of the time it takes to cook whatever meat one is having, and keep a knife handy to check the current condition of the meat.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Surf and Turf: Products for Your Pool and Patio

Many serious barbeque lovers know how to improve or alter the taste of the meats they grill. This can be done in a few different fashions. The fuel that is used to burn is one point to consider. Charcoal or wood is the main form of flavor. Gas typically is a sure way to get the burn started faster, but the taste is arguably less favorable.

Wood is a great way to impart a unique flavor to the meat by circulating its smoke within the bbq grill. There are many wood types to use with the bbq grill, but all of them should be deciduous hard woods rather than coniferous (like pine wood). Woods like pine contain tars and resins that impart a chemical taste to the meat.

Such types of wood that are used in barbeques are:

Cherry Wood
Apple Wood

Charcoal is another fuel source that is enjoyed by barbeque enthusiasts. This comes in several forms, but it is nearly all carbon. It is actually made from wood that was burned. Occasionally additives, like clay and nitrates are included to make the burn stay longer in your bbq grill.

Charcoal, like wood, imparts the flavor from the smoke it produces. Charcoal and wood are often combined in the grill to do this. It's debatable what type of smoke create the flavor, white smoke or the thin blue smoke, but some will use water to create a thicker smoke or use a smoker separately for a deeper taste.

In addition to fuel types for flavor, meat marinades and flavor rubs are used for enhancement. The assortment of flavors and combinations are endless. The flavors are often geographical and culturally based, everything from Jamaican Jerk marinade, to Mexican Chipotle salt rub, the flavor emanates into the meat as it hits the bbq grill.

Grilling is not Barbeque; Taste the Difference

Many think that barbeque is simply putting flame to a bbq grill and searing steaks up within a 15 minute span. The actual method and flavor is rarely experienced, especially in the northern states.

American style barbeque was initially developed in the south, and if you ask most cooks in Texas how to define the difference between the two, they would explain there is a world of difference in taste.

Barbeque is simply a much more enriching smoke flavor. The difference is the heat source and intensity. With grilling is simply cooking food over the flame directly; it maybe takes about 15 minutes or so for a steak. Barbeque is a much lower heat, using indirect heat and tons of smoke.

Meats that are cooked this way can take several hours, a full day even. This time allows the wood smoke to fully penetrate the meat, which makes a remarkable different end result.

By: Art Gib

Vegetarians at the BBQ

It would seem that nowadays there are a lot of options for vegetarians. Meatless alternatives seem to abound everywhere, from the neighborhood deli, to the sushi shop, to the hamburger joint. The hamburger joint? Yes, you heard correctly. With the introduction of several brands of meatless “burgers,” vegetarians can brave the very den of carnivorous pleasure. Once viewed as an eccentric oddity, vegetarians have moved from the fringe to the mainstream. However, the truth is, all too often the meatless menu option isn’t vegetarian at all…it’s just a menu item, minus the meat. Unfortunately, a white hoagie bun topped with iceberg lettuce, pickles, onions, mayonnaise, and mustard is about as unappealing to the vegetarian as it is to the carnivore counterpart.

So what about the vegetarian at the barbecue?

With its increased popularity, it’s highly likely you have friends or family members who’ve adopted this lifestyle. Don’t let this cause you angst the next time you invite them over for barbecue. With the tips below, you can be assured they’ll be licking their fingers and singing your praise as enthusiastically as your steak-loving comrades.

The first rule of thumb when barbecuing for vegetarians is that veggies are not just a sideshow anymore. Don’t doom your vegetarian guests to pick and choose among the sides to make their meals. Potato salad, relish plates, and devilled eggs? Consider. You offer steak, chicken, and fish to your meat-loving friends, but the vegetarian in attendance is offered only corn on the cob? Lame! If you want to really impress your vegetarian guests, you want to offer at least one meat-free main dish. While there are a few meat substitutions out there I advise you to think outside the box. A quick search on the internet will reveal literally hundreds of recipes for preparing veggies on the grill. A short-list of the easiest to prepare, and most popular vegetables would include potatoes, corn, tomatoes, and zucchini. If you’re willing to put in a little more effort, you can prepare a bowl of pasta to serve with the grilled veggies. Don’t blame me if your meat-loving friends fill up on this entrée and you have to make more!

The second tip to hosting a vegetarian-friendly barbecue is presentation. While a pile of juicy steaks thrown on a platter straight from the grill may look tempting, a pound of potatoes doesn’t quite have the same appeal. Take a few minutes to peruse a few vegetarian cookbooks, or preview the photographs of the recipes you check out on line. You may be surprised how tempting a plate of Stuffed Tomatoes looks with a sprig of fresh herbs and a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar, grated cheese, or drizzled oil. Let your creative juices flow freely, and watch how mouth-watering the vegetarian alternative suddenly becomes.

This article wouldn’t be complete without a word on quality. Time after time I’ve found this to be the big difference between a veggie-lover and a veggie-hater. Usually the veggie-hater has never been exposed to good quality vegetables. If you want your vegetarian entrée to come out tasting like a champ, it’s worth the effort to find the freshest produce available. Barbecue season also happens to be the best season for vegetables—so check out your local farmer’s market or neighborhood vegetable stand. Of course, the best place to get vegetables is straight out of the garden, and there are great recipes that even use the veggies you may otherwise throw away. (For example, the green tomatoes that get knocked off the vine grill up firm and tangy!) Trust me, everyone will love a vegetable that has been ripened by the sun, and picked in season.

There you have it! Take these tips with you to the grocery store and the vegetable stand, and I have no doubt your barbecue will be a big hit—for everyone!

About The Author-- About the Author Emma Snow is contributing author and publisher to http://www.bbq-shop.net

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Corporate Gifts, Giveaways, Custom Logos, ASI !

Logo Branding Irons by Texas IronsCelebrating our 10th year in business!Corporate Gifts, Giveaways, Custom Logos, ASI !

Texas Irons is the leading supplier of Steak Brands in the outdoor cooking industry. Since 1998 we've been providing the outdoor cook fun products to turn themselves into a true grill master!

Texas Irons products make great gifts for the executive who has everything. Some corporate folks are especially hard to buy for, we offer products that are truly unique and personal.

Just imagine, your company logo being "branded"; why it's practically free advertising that grill lovers are happy to use. There's even a wooden box that we can brand which will instantly double your brand's exposure. These custom logo steak brands make great corporate gifts, convention giveaways, promotional gifts, and employee appreciation gift. Or maybe you're having a company BBQ or a western themed party, whatever the occasion, a custom logo steak brand from Texas Irons is a sure winner!

We've done many projects for large and small companies all over the world. Our turn-a-round time is pretty quick once the cut has been approved. We can also brand leather gloves/aprons, hardwood cutting boards or cedar hanging boards with your new logo iron.

The minimum order is 50 brands, but it is possible to do less, just make sure to call for a quote if interested. Due to the fact that we are cutting logos out of metal we may need to make slight changes, in most cases those alterations are unnoticeable. If the changes need to be major we will provide creative options that have been a huge success with clients in the past.

These logos shown here are all property of their original owner corporations, we were asked to create brands of these logos either by employees of that company or by brokers doing work for those companies. All logos were approved before a brand was created.

For more examples CLICK HERE

ASI Brokers call to discuss discounts.

If you would like for us to prepare a custom branding iron please e-mail us your logo/design to info@texasirons.com or you can fax your design with your contact information to to 512-828-6921 x3 and ask for Mike. We have a logo setup fee of $75 and as of right now we require about 25 days on custom order jobs. Please note that emailed images should be in .eps format.

If you are interested in a custom brand and have additional questions please give us a call or e-mail.

To contact us:
Texas Irons
1308 Chisholm Trail #111
Round rock, TX 78681
Bus: 877-256-8916 x3 (Ask for Mike)
Fax: 512-828-6921

If you have an idea or an image that you would like to send us please forward it to info@texasirons.com and we will be in contact with you regarding an estimate.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Propane Tank Safety Tips

Propane Tank Safety Tips

• Using soapy water, check tank and valve for leaks. Open the valve but leave the appliance off while testing.

• Never store a spare tank beneath a grill.

• Always store tanks upright.

• Never store a tank in temperatures of 125 degrees F or more.

• When transporting, secure tank upright in a well-ventilated area of your vehicle. Drive directly to where it will be used. Do not allow tank to sit in a vehicle unattended.

• Never use or store a propane tank indoors.

• If storing grill indoors, disconnect tank. Move tank to a secure, well-ventilated location outdoors.

• Do not try to repair a damaged tank or tank valve.

• Take a damaged tank to a qualified propane supplier for repairs or disposal.

• Ensure the tank valve handle is in the "Closed" position when the tank is not in use

Does your city make the list?

So is your city among the Top 100* that's the best place to grill?

Find out below:

1. Sacramento, CA
2. Reno, NV
3. Flagstaff, AZ
4. Fresno, CA
5. Los Angeles, CA
6. Boise, ID
7. San Francisco, CA
8. Honolulu, HI
9. Salt Lake City, UT
10. Grand Junction, CO
11. Fort Wayne, IN
12. Spokane, WA
13. Las Vegas, NV
14. Galveston, TX
15. San Diego, CA
16. El Paso, TX
17. Albuquerque, NM
18. Milford, UT
19. Phoenix, AZ
20. Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
21. Evansville, IN
22. Oklahoma City, OK
23. Fargo, ND
24. Portland, OR
25. Tucson, AZ
26. Detroit, MI
27. Milwaukee, WI
28. Denver, CO
29. Indianapolis, IN
30. Memphis, TN
31. Lincoln, NE
32. Omaha, NE
33. Springfield, IL
34. Rapid City, SD
35. Des Moines, IA
36. Green Bay, WI
37. Richmond, VA
38. New York, NY
39. Chicago, IL
40. Cleveland, OH
41. Madison, WI
42. Topeka, KS
43. Buffalo, NY
42. Toledo, OH
45. Little Rock, AR
46. Springfield, MO
47. Boston, MA
48. Wichita, KS
49. Atlanta, GA
50. Charlotte, NC
51. Kansas City, MO
52. Miami, FL
53. Harrisburg, PA
54. Rochester, NY
55. Louisville, KY
56. Grand Rapids, MI
57. St. Louis, MO
58. Atlantic City, NJ
59. Dayton, OH
60. Albany, NY
61. Burlington, VT
62. Knoxville, TN
63. Tulsa, OK
64. Moline, IL
65. Lynchburg, VA
66. Portland, ME
67. Norfolk, VA
68. Asheville, NC
69. Nashville, TN
70. Columbus, OH
71. Syracuse, NY
72. Corpus Christi, TX
73. Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem, NC
74. Charleston, SC
75. Seattle, WA
76. Dallas, TX
77. Shreveport, LA
78. Washington, DC
79. Greenville/Spartanburg, SC
80. Baltimore, MD
81. Providence, RI
82. Philadelphia, PA
83. Hartford, CT
84. Austin, TX
85. Chattanooga, TN
86. Birmingham, AL
87. San Antonio, TX
88. Raleigh, NC
89. Pittsburgh, PA
90. Columbia, SC
91. Houston, TX
92. Allentown, PA
93. Jackson, MS
94. Tampa, FL
95. Jacksonville, FL
96. Savannah, GA
97. Montgomery, AL
98. New Orleans, LA
99. Elkins, WV
100. Anchorage, AK

*Ideal grilling conditions are defined as days that fall between May-August which are sunny and rain-free. The Top 100 list was compiled using total amount of Propane sales and by using the average sunshine rate, the estimated total number of rain days and the estimated total number of days above 90 degrees using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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